Uprooted was the reward I got for suffering through Elantris. Within these pages is a fully realized, beautifully symbolic, endlessly interesting world that uses the medium of fantasy like a highly skilled painter. Characters are complex and deep, wrestling with moral ambiguity and knowledge and desire even as their world shifts around them.
Our heroine, Agnieszka, is not a pretty little princess girl who will end up with the fairytale wedding; nothing so boring and trite as that. Instead, she’s smart, clumsy, consistently tangled and filthy and missing a button, a lacing and with a torn hem. She is stubborn and clever, and physically strong. The point of the story is not to change her general disheveled appearance, or to prove to her or us that she is pretty, but that she is good and right as she is, and needn’t be constrained by her world’s view of women. Is there love? Yes, but it is not romantic, it is fraught and complicated. Are there battles? Yes, but this woman is key to it. A brilliant, shining novel with a fascinating, strong female character who shows us there is more than one way to be amazing, and it can happen even if your hair is tangled and there are leaves and burrs stuck to your cloak. 4 stars.